A note from Alex Ziebart: When Simon and Schuster sent Daniel and I a pair of free, early review copies of Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, we immediately went about planning how we were going to handle a 2-man review. We've been good friends for years, and one of our favorite past times is debating things like this back and forth. We rarely agree on books, and we can argue our sides until we're blue in the face. We were going to write an Alex vs Daniel knock down, drag out argument about Arthas and it was going to rule. Unfortunately, things didn't go our way.
When we finished reading the book, we got together to talk about it. It was... unsettling. We completely agreed with each other on almost every point that was raised. The high points and the low points, we were completely on the same spectrum. That's just not right. We decided that, rather than write two reviews parroting each other, we would just go with the one. Daniel's review says everything I want to say better than I could have said it, so once you read what he says, just pretend you can hear me say "Ditto" at the end. Take it away, Danny!
As WoW Insider's self-proclaimed junior lieutenant Lore Nerd, when Simon & Schuster so generously offered to send us a couple of free advanced copies of Arthas, the new World of Warcraft book by Christie Golden, I was all over that. As soon as the book showed up on my doorstep, I turned on the answering machine, grabbed a soda, popped some popcorn, curled up in my favorite chair, and pretty much read the whole thing straight through. The only breaks I took were to discuss various scenes and their ramifications for lore with Alex. And by discuss, I mean "fanboy out."
But I am being completely serious when I say, of all the Warcraft manga, comic books, and novels I have read, Arthas has the most solid, balanced writing and best realized characters. It's not a perfect book, but it's a very worthwhile read for anyone who has even the slightest interest in the why and how of that big armored dude up on the Frozen Throne.